El Puente

El Puente

BREAKING NEWS ON THE EL PUENTE CAMPAIGN FOR JUSTICE!

Update Summary

***Victories for our campaign! More work to come
***The Organizing Meeting on December 9th is cancelled and the Rally on December 12th is postponed


After eight weeks of hard work, and the wonderful support of the El Puente Community (parents, student, members, alumni) and fellow activists and organizations from NYC and beyond, our Campaign for Justice has yielded a victory on one of our demands and significant progress on another:

***The DOE has signed a lease agreement with Boricua College to temporarily house the El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice. Students of the Academy began reporting to classes at Boricua starting Monday, Dec. 4th.

***According to DOE's Jeff Shear, a "business agreement" has been reached with the Brooklyn Archdiocese for a long-term lease and a multi-million dollar renovation of the former Transfiguration School building for El Puente in the operations of the El Puente Academy. The "build out" budget, according to other DOE officials, will be seven to twelve million dollars and we have been assured, verbally, that El Puente will be at the table in designing the project.

We want to humbly thank everyone who has supported us in this struggle. Clearly, without the collective work of parents, young people, community members and diverse supporters citywide, this would not have come to pass. Together, in just over 8 weeks, we have been able to accomplish what had not been done for the last 13 years! We also want to acknowledge principled DOE staff who have expressed their dismay at the chain of events and with great respect and cooperation have been working with us through each transition.


NEXT STEPS

Given these latest developments, we at El Puente are now working feverishly on the conversion of the following spaces:

***El Puente Headquarters located at 211 South 4th Street, (home to one of its arts, cultural and educational after school programs as well as its community health and environment institute) and

***Boricua College, the new temporary home of the El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice.

We will continue organizing for this campaign for the two remaining demands- reparations for the 13 years of use of El Puente's headquarters and five million dollars of operations support for the Academy and an apology for the reckless and disrespectful actions of the DOE towards this community. However, because of the recent tragic death of Sean Bell, it is clear that at this critical time, El Puente must join forces citywide and focus its energies and activities to stop the killing of our young people and put an end to systematic police disorder. Accordingly, we have come to the following decisions:

- There will no longer be an organizing meeting on December 9th
- We have decided to postpone the rally scheduled for December 12th

Again, we thank all those who have worked and will continue to accelerate their work in demanding justice for our community. We will keep you informed of our next steps and actions as we move forward on our remaining demands.


Siempre Palante! Ever onward!